Although the final results are yet to come out London Elects is running a continuuouus tally of the votes as they come in which indicate what the polls had long been predicting – that Livingstone will lsoe the Mayoralty but Labour will do very well in the Assembly elections.
On a night when Labour did extremely well across England and Wales in local council elections, gaining over 500 council seats, the Assembly vote appears to have followed the trend with Labour in a clear lead. However, the same cannot be said for Livingstone, a politician who is far more used to out-polling his party nationally than dragging it downwards.
Livingstone’s campaign has floundered from one blunder to another and focused on the personality of his main opponent, something that is Boris Johnson’s strongest vote winner. Where Livingstone’s team did focus on policies the public simply did not believe them. While most Londoners want fares to come down they seemed less likely to believe Livingstone would be able to deliver on his promise of a 7% cut. Livingstone promised to introduce a London EMA to help young people stay in education.
While the abolition of the EMA has seen a decline in student retention the plan to use council budgets and already existing education funds (neither of which the Mayor has power on) relied on the cooperation of Conservative boroughs to fulfill Labour’s manifesto pledge – something that was unlikely to happen.
Labour is likely to spend some time speculating whether a different candidate might have fared better in such fertile electoral terrain.
In other news
Other winners of the night appear to be the two women Mayoral candidates Jenny Jones and Siobhan Benita who are currently vying for third place leaving a despondent Brian Paddick to a likely humiliation of fifth place, something that will likely be blamed on the national fortunes of the party rather than the rather single issue and robotic campaign the party ran.
The Greens also look likely to have beaten the Lib Dems to third place in the Assembly list vote, although we should stress this is with around half the votes counted so far. The number of seats each party wins on the list will largely depend on the results in the Constituency seats.
As expected the BNP’s fortunes have been relegated to an irrelevance although UKIP may, just, still win an Assembly seat it is looking increasingly unlikely at this stage.
We will be publishing a full list of the results and what they mean over the next few days, if you have a contribution you would like to make to the election postmortem please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org